Derek King has been displaced from the Blackhawks’ head coaching role by Luke Richardson, but King may nonetheless remain with the organization moving forward.
General manager Kyle Davidson said Wednesday at Richardson’s introductory news conference that he’d work with King, who went 27-33-10 as the Hawks’ incredibly popular, ego-less interim coach this past season, to find a suitable new role for him.
“It was a tough spot for Derek to step into in his first foray as an [NHL] head coach, so we thought he did excellent,” Davidson said. “Derek’s someone we really appreciate and we really value, so there’s going to be a process moving forward where we do try to keep Derek in the fold. Because we’re looking to bring high-character people into the organization, and Derek is that.”
It’s possible King could regain his old AHL coaching title. Rockford interim coach Anders Sorensen did well this past season but hasn’t had his interim tag (at least officially) removed yet, and King admitted he’d always seen himself in the past as best-suited to be a minor-league coach.
An assistant coaching role on Richardson’s staff or another job in the front office, development team or scouting department are all possibilities, too.
Hawks talking trades
Davidson emphasized again Wednesday he’s willing to entertain trade offers for every Hawks player other than the three –Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Seth Jones — who hold no-trade clauses.
“It would be unwise to do anything but,” he said. “We’re not going to force anything. We’re not going to do something just to do something. But it’s incumbent on us to listen to what’s out there, what the interest is, and see if that can help us moving forward.
Approaching draft week next week in Montreal, Davidson admitted he has some “ideas” about potential trades to explore. Alex DeBrincat is almost certainly included in some of them, although Davidson shied away from naming him specifically.
One pertinent objective will be trying to acquire a first-round pick, as there are several — including the Devils’ No. 2 and the Senators’ No. 7 selections — that might be available. The Wild just Wednesday acquired the No. 19 pick from the Kings in a Kevin Fiala trade. Still, Davidson isn’t writing anything down in pen.
“If you’re trying to make something happen, that’s maybe where you get into trouble, you make a mistake,” he added. “We’ll see what’s there, and if we can get into the first round, absolutely we’d like to. But it just might not be available to us, so we’ll see what comes.”